HTC's win had post-season feel

Lady Crusaders get primer for post-season in win over Mepo.

It wasn’t a postseason game, but Holy Trinity girls basketball coach Tony Johnson wanted Monday’s game to have a postseason feel.
And it did.
The Crusaders’ 48-35 win over Mediapolis at Shottenkirk Gym was a rescheduled game from one of the numerous postponements during the snow and cold of early January, but Johnson was hoping to use it to get ready for the Class 1A regional tournament, which begins Thursday when Holy Trinity plays host to New London.
“This was the best way to prepare for regionals,” Johnson said. “You’re going to see the pressing, you’re going to see the tough defense. Mentally, this was a good game to prepare.”
The Crusaders finished the regular season with an 18-2 overall record, and shared the SEI Superconference South Division with Danville, finishing with a 12-2 mark.
“This is a great start to the week of regionals,” said senior Mary Kate Bendlage, who led Holy Trinity with 16 points, “and I think Tony couldn’t be more proud of the players.”
Holy Trinity held Mediapolis (15-4, 10-3) to half of its season average in scoring. It was the second-lowest scoring game for the Bullettes this season.
“Our defense has really been limiting the points,” Bendlage said. “This team averages 60, 70 points per game. That really shows we really slowed them down, got them out of our groove.”
“We wanted to keep it in a 40s game, and that’s what we did,” Johnson said.
There has been a consistent message for the Crusaders since last Monday’s 56-49 loss at Danville, and the Crusaders have been listening.
“Ever since Danville, we’ve beat it into their heads, ‘Why go at any other speed than ours?’” Johnson said. “Whether it’s against the press, whether we’re pressing, whether we’re in the half-court, we want to play a certain style. We want to score 50, 55, and hold people to 30. That’s our goal. You’re going to be successful doing it.”
The two teams were tied at 22 at halftime, then Holy Trinity outscored Mediapolis 17-7 in the third quarter, then held the Bullettes to just six fourth-quarter points.
“I think this really showed that if we take control, run our pace, run our offense, and just pound the defense we’ve been working on, we’ll be fine,” Bendlage said.
Natalie Randolph added 15 points for the Crusaders. Teagan Snaadt had seven points.
Grace Holsteen led Mediapolis with 19 points.
Now, it’s the postseason. 
“We don’t want to go out yet,” Bendlage said. “We have a long road ahead of us. We’re planning on a long road ahead of us. And I think keying in on the little things in practice will take us on the next step we want to take.”
Holy Trinity Catholic, sports, Mediapolis, Bulldogs, Crusaders, Lady Crusaders, varsity, Pen City Current, SEI Superconference,


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